Sad pictures of Child Soldiers in WWII

Wars are always started by the adults, but not only adults take part. War does not spare anyone, so armed kids aren’t a rare occurrence. Sometimes they are orphans, sometimes volunteers or they were simply forced to serve in the army. One thing is certain; war often destroyed their future or literally their lives.

Children have often been pressed into conflicts throughout history. They have fought in wars as soldiers, both girls and boys. It was very common in some countries for children to fight in wars, right up into the Twentieth Century.

The recruitment of child soldiers has long been associated with irregular forces and guerrillas however when a country is facing annihilation; everybody is obliged to fight.

Here are some gut-wrenching images of kids at war- throughout the twentieth century.

Young Polish resistance fighters in Warsaw during Uprising, Poland, 1944 (ww2db.com)
Young Polish resistance fighters in Warsaw during Uprising, Poland, 1944
Chinese boy hired to assist troops of Chinese 39th Division during the Salween Offensive, Yunnan Province, China,1944 (ww2db.com)
Chinese boy hired to assist troops of Chinese 39th Division during the Salween Offensive, Yunnan Province, China, 1944 [United States Army Signal Corps/]
Chinese Nationalist soldier, age 10, May 1944 (Wikipedia)
A Chinese Nationalist soldier, age 10, member of a Chinese division from the X-Force, boarding planes in Burma bound for China, May 1944
Onni Kokko, Finnish boy soldier, died in 1918 after battle of Tampere (wikipedia)
Onni Kokko, a Finnish boy soldier, died in 1918 after Battle of Tampere
15 years old boy soldier of Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism, 1941 (Bundesarchiv)
15-year-old boy soldier of Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism, 1941 [Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-141-1291-02 / Momber / CC-BY-SA 3.0]
Japanese youth during military training, 1916 (Wikipedia)
Japanese youth during military training, 1916
Soldier boys taken prisoner in the battle of Okinawa, 1945 (Wikipedia)
Soldier boys who were taken prisoner in the battle of Okinawa, 1945
13 years old boy soldier, captured by United States Army in Martinszell-Waltenhofen, 1945 (waralbum.ru)
13-year-old boy soldier, captured by United States Army in Martinszell-Waltenhofen, 1945 [Via]
German boy soldier captured, Italy, 1944 (worldwarphotos.info)
German boy soldier after his capture, Italy, 1944 [Via]
Boy soldier from Hitlerjugend, at age of 16, Germany, 1945 (Bundesarchiv)
Boy soldier from Hitlerjugend, at the age of 16, Berlin, Germany, 1945. Soon after this picture was taken, Soviets entered the city[Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-G0627-500-001 / CC-BY-SA 3.0]
Serbian young partisans, Yugoslavia, 1945 (waralbum.ru)
Serbian young partisans, Yugoslavia, 1945
B. Mussolini during review of youth organization Ballilla, Rome, 1940 (waralbum.ru)
B. Mussolini during review of youth organization, Rome, 1940 [Via]
Admiral Giulio Graziani and X Flottiglia MAS. The boy on the picture is Franco Grechi. Italy, 1943 (waralbum.ru)
Admiral Giulio Graziani and X Flottiglia MAS. The boy on the picture is Franco Grechi. Italy, 1943 [Via]
15 years old Misha Petrov with captured German MP-38 and Soviet grenade RGD-33 in his boot [Via]
15-year-old Misha Petrov with captured German MP-38 and Soviet grenade RGD-33 in his boot [Via]
Volodya Tarnowski with comrades in Berlin, 1945 (waralbum.ru)
Volodya Tarnowski with comrades in Berlin, 1945 [Via]
Volodya Tarnowski puts an autograph on a column of Reichstag, Berlin, 1945 (waralbum.ru)
Volodya Tarnowski puts an autograph on a column of Reichstag, Berlin, 1945 [Via]
Momčilo Gavrić, Korfu, 1916 (Wikipedia)
Momčilo Gavrić, Korfu, 1916
Momčilo Gavrić, joined Serbian Army at age of 8, 1914. The youngest soldier in the First World War (Wikipedia)
Momčilo Gavrić joined Serbian Army at the age of 8, 1914. The youngest soldier in the First World War
Lviv Eaglets, young defenders from Polish-Ukrainian War and Polish-Soviet War, 1918-1920 (Wikipedia)
Lviv Eaglets, young defenders from Polish-Ukrainian War and Polish-Soviet War, 1918-1920 
An Iranian child soldier after the Liberation of Khorramshahr
An Iranian child soldier after the Liberation of Khorramshahr
These images show that during the twentieth century, kids fought on the front line in all the major conflicts. It is not known how many kids were killed or were maimed for life during these wars.

However, it is not something that is confined to history. Today, there are still children fighting in all the conflicts that are ravaging parts of the world. At present children are taking an active part in wars in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.